Denmark, Norway, Sweden 2012
This year, for the very first time, we had the opportunity to take 2 weeks of vacation from our jobs in the middle of summer!
We usually enjoy shoulder-season travel because it's typically so hot, crowded and expensive to travel in summer.
So we took this opportunity to travel to Scandinavia...definitely would not be hot, not very crowded compared to other European destinations and my favorite part about picking these northern European countries...daylight until 10pm!!!
This gave us so much time to pack in a great deal of sightseeing in what always turns out to be not enough time!
We decided to spend 12 nights divided between the capital cities of Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden...with a fjord cruise and the lovely small town of Bergen, Norway thrown in for a bit of variety from big city sights.
All of these places surprised us. We didn't realize how big a part water plays in each of these capitals. There are all gorgeous, thriving port cities steeped in Viking history.
We flew into Copenhagen and spent 3 nights. Then flew to Oslo and spent 3 nights.
Then we had a long day filled with stunning scenery, taking a bus, then train and the stunning Flam Railway which descends from the mountains down to innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord. We took a breath-taking 2 hour cruise through the fjords to the town of Gudvangen then another bus, then one last train ride to the charming town of Bergen on the west coast of Norway.
We spent 2 nights in Bergen then we flew to Stockholm for our last 4 nights.
This whirlwind of a trip was filled with lessons in Norse history and a feast for the eyes with architecture dating back to medieval times. Each of the capital cities also boasted some fabulous modern architecture that Scandinavia is so well-known for.
We also got to explore each of these cities from the water on many relaxing and scenic boat rides which afforded us a totally different and beautiful perspective.
Lots to see and take in, which of course means LOTS of pictures!!
It's so hard to narrow it down...here are our favorites.